Mutant - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mutant Reviews

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½ September 4, 2016
Chemical waste from a plant in a small Southern town transforms inhabitants to blood seeking mutants. Stereotypical role for favourite Bo Hopkins while Jennifer Warren is curiously credited for a 'Special Appearance'. Goes on a bit too long and dim lighting often holds proceedings back in the tense moments.
September 18, 2015
Solid acting by main cast. Somewhat of a slow start to a mediocre story. Has a couple of legitimate scares. Competent directing and an eerie overall feel make this a fun late night guilty pleasure.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2014
Two brothers are stranded in a stereotypical redneck town struck by an outbreak of toxic waste mutations. Stupid, clichéd script renders the relatively high production values meaningless.
½ January 12, 2014
Mutant (AKA Night Shadows) was remade by the same director in 1988 under the title Nightmare at Noon, and that movie was completely terrible. So I wondered if the original had any merit to it? Well it's definitely bad, but it has some pretty good stuff in it. It really goes out of its way to showcase horrible redneck characters, that's for sure, but the "zombie" outbreak at the end of the movie was pretty effective, even if it wasn't perfect. They certainly seemed to swarm in large numbers. Both of our leads, Wings Hauser and Bo Hopkins, are pretty terrible, but having seen the remake, I expected them to be. The plot is not exactly the same, as more complicated and stupid elements were incorporated into the remake. So the plot here is simple, which I like. It's not a great movie, but it will hold your interest most of the way.
June 22, 2012
slow; a bit of bad acting; the only good part was some scenes of suspense, but other than that it's just a cheap B-movie
½ March 18, 2012
Low budget but suspenseful. It has elements of a zombie film and some decent characters. Not a lot of scary moments but there are a few and the makeup is decent for a B-movie. Ending wasn't too bad.
March 4, 2012
for what I'm guess was a low budget film this wasn't to bad, quite watch-able and the story was okay even if it did start a little slow.
½ January 28, 2012
This is a fun little 'sicko' film that I think has really slipped under the radar. The only reason that I came across it was I was on a search for Wings Hauser films. Both he & Bo Hopkins make this very watchable. Hopkins made me want to crack out the Wild Turkey & drink along w/ him. A little thin in spots & not overtly original it does have charms but if you are an 80s horror completest it should definitely be on your list. Beside most Wings Hauser films are highly watching in that B-C movie vein. Sure it's not comparable to other high end zombie style movies but it is highly digestible & I love those pussie leaking hands
January 19, 2012
This in one of my old time favourites. Classic!!!
½ October 22, 2011
Average, nothing special here.
September 25, 2011
A passable Wings Hauser movie is indeed an uncommon occurance.
½ March 24, 2011
Blue toxic zombies in redneck county. Thrilling Horror-Adventure with fun bladder f/x.
Super Reviewer
January 26, 2011
A little known and quite underrated zombie/infection movie. It builds up quite slowly which helped develop up the characters with Wings Hauser and Bo Hopkins being very watchable. As the film moves on it develops an eerie atmosphere and some genuinely creepy moments. Has a similar feel to Arachnaphobia but without the spiders. This was remade in 1988 as "Nightmare at Noon" but I didn't find this one bad at all. Give it a look.
May 26, 2010
totally campy and totally enjoyable. Should be considered a guilty pleasure on anyone horror list.
February 27, 2010
This movie is awful. It's completely un-original, boring, and lacks imagination. The only funny part is when a guy accidentally throws himself into a pool of toxic waste.
½ January 5, 2010
Entertaining zombie movie. Could use more gore and better pacing but it does great for it's low budget.
½ October 15, 2009
A sloppy variation on THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in which Wings Hauser plays the hero and has to contend with a town whose residents have been turned into blood-sucking mindless ghouls by a toxic waste spill. Wings also has to deal with the sinister agents of an evil corporation (they spilled the toxic waste) who are trying to cover-up the mess. Bo Hopkins plays an alcoholic sheriff. I saw it on VHS as MUTANT. Pretty predictable. The low budget and poorly directed 'mutant' extras do not help much.
September 27, 2009
80s zombie flick, fun stuff!
½ July 11, 2009
When I originally bought the original Vestron video of Mutant many years ago, I thought I was in for some huge mutated monster movie due to the cover art (a beast head hovering over a town) and the title. This proves how misleading some incarnations of the cover art and title can be. To my surprise Mutant was a thinly disguised "zombie" movie and I will get into that more later. The title sequence is kinda of bad and I originally thought "yep, I got exactly what I expected." The film actually becomes a lot better as the movie trucks along. We start off with a killing and then delve into a story about two "city boy" brothers traveling along a remote southern highway where they run into some clich? rednecks who wreck their car. They are forced into going into a small town but the kicker is that toxic waste being illegally dumped near the town has turned many of the residents into mutated zombie like ghouls who start to feast on the blood of the remaining normal tenants of the town. Eventually it dwindles down to a few survivors (with Bo Hopkins playing an alcoholic run-down cop) having to escape the zombie-like hordes.

The idea of the mutant zombie creatures is actually interesting for this kind of film. The toxic waste changes the person's blood into a green/yellowish substance and swells. It swells to degree that their palms split. Through these splits the "mutant zombies" suck blood from victims like a leach. The make-up job on these ghouls is actually quit good and they have a nice terrifying appearance in dark corridors.

Not only are the ghouls impressive, but director John Cardos (Kingdom of the Spiders) is also able to make many great scenes of suspense. There are two terrific scenes with "zombies" attacking a women and a kid in a school bathroom and another when "zombies" surround a car and start burning through the glass to get to the person inside. I've been a horror film fan for years and nothing really makes me squirm, but there a a few number of scenes here that actually got me on the edge of my seat. He also moves the film along at nice pace and it builds and builds until the suspense filled climax. Nice job Cardos!

The acting here also brings this film up a couple of notches. Usually genre films like this have poor acting and actors that usually cause unintentional laughter. The cast here is very good lead by seasoned veterans Wings Hauser (Vice Squad) and Bo Hopkins. The supporting cast is also good and they all play the film seriously. There is a scene towards the end of the film where a female lead starts to lose emotional control and Hauser has to comfort her while being terrified himself. I really felt they were scared out-of-there minds. Thumbs up on the acting which is rare for this type of film.

The only really cheese thing is the story, which I know the story sounds like direct-to-video material. No doubt today it would be, but Mutant was made back in the early 80's and that was a great era because movies like mutant got a theatrical release and because of this, they a high-quality look them that director-to-video fodder sorely lack.

For horror fans looking for a nice mostly forgotten 80's horror film that actually has quality, then give Mutant a shot. It's got a great cast, good acting, nice effects, and some truly suspenseful moments. I was totally surprised by Mutant and liked it very much.

For some reason Mutant as been released in many different incarnations on DVD (5 that I know of). I originally bought the Diamond Entertainment version (It portrays the same cover art as the original Vestron video release) but its picture quality was no better than my VHS. By far the best edition available on DVD is the Elite Entertainment version (stay clear of the Westlake version which has the horrible cover art pictured here on facebook). The picture is crystal clear (you can actually see what's happening in the dark scenes!) and in anamorphic widescreen. A beautiful release of a rare film. If you want to own this film, you owe it to yourself to get the Elite Version!
May 3, 2009
This brilliant low budget horror had me laughing so hard in places I thought I was going to cry.
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